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License Executive Society USA & Canada

Advancing Diversity in the Innovation Cycle

  • 17 Nov 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Webinar

LES Silicon Valley Chapter Webinar:
"Advancing Diversity in the Innovation Cycle"

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Licensing Executive Society Silicon Valley Chapter (LES-SVC) is pleased to present this webinar sharing insights on what inspires and fuels a sustainable innovation environment.

For decades, Silicon Valley's technological innovations and culture have transformed the world, driven by a unique mix of venture and intellectual capital. An essential challenge in its culture is regaining the spotlight: diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). While the well-known benefits of DEI have long been acknowledged, the adoption has been slow. The reality remains that bringing together diverse minds and builders is necessary for sustainable success in business, research, and education. 

Join us for a lively exchange among experienced innovators and business professionals addressing key topics, including:

  • What is the DEI experience informing us about the current landscape of diversity and inclusion in innovation?
  • How organizations can objectively support the innovators to achieve improved business outcomes:
  • Impact of DEI in product design and technology on the desired business outcomes.
  • What changes in organizational behavior are needed to move forward?

Candice Brown Elliott, Inventor/Technology Entrepreneur and Founder/CEO at Nouvoyance
Darius Sankey Ph.D., General Partner and Managing Director at Innovation Acceleration Capital, and General Partner at Moore Ventures
Muriel Médard, Ph.D., Professor of EECS at MIT and Chief Scientist at Steinwurf
Soody Tronson, Founder/CEO at Presque Medical, Founding Managing Counsel at STLG Law Firm, and LES-SVC Board Member and Past-Chair
Victor “Divine” Lombard, Entrepreneur & Founder, Hip-Hop/Rap Recording Artist, Advocate & Activist, Actor, and "Official Rapper” at Andreessen Horowitz (known as "a16z")
Moderator: Michael Pierantozzi, Principal/Founder, Andiamo Associates, LLC, and LES-SVC Board Member

Candice H. Brown Elliott, Inventor/Technology Entrepreneur and Founder/CEO at Nouvoyance (LinkedIn)
Candice H. Brown Elliott is an executive, entrepreneur, and technologist/inventor in the flat panel display and semiconductor industries. She has held engineering and managerial posts in leading semiconductor firms as well as start-up ventures. She has founded several technology companies and led industry research consortia programs. She is a regularly invited speaker at international conferences, industry symposia, and universities. Candice has over a hundred US utility patents issued and hundreds of foreign cognates. She was awarded the Otto Schade Prize in 2014 for her work in developing PenTile subpixel rendering technology for high resolution color displays, a technology now shipping in hundreds of millions of smartphones, tablets, notebook PCs, and UDTVs worldwide.

Clairvoyante, a company she founded to develop PenTile technology, was acquired by Samsung Electronics in 2008.  She subsequently founded Nouvoyance to continue development and commercialization of display technology, funded by Samsung.

Candice has a dual BS degree in physics and psychology, strong minor in biology earned by examination from the University of the State of New York.  She studied materials science at Stanford University Graduate School.

Candice has published two Science Fiction novels entitled "All the Stars are Suns" and "Raven's Rook" under the pen name "Seaby Brown". They are available on Amazon in paperback and ebook. She is presently writing her third novel "Skyview Keep" and is finalizing a non-fiction business book, “Invention Engine” on creative invention and innovation management which will be released this fall.

When not in her home office writing novels, you may find her out in the garden tending plants, or working with her husband, Jeff, restoring their historic home, you may find Candice at the local airport where she is an active flight instructor in single, multi-engine, and instrument airplane.

Darius Sankey Ph.D., General Partner and Managing Director at Innovation Acceleration Capital, and General Partner at Moore Capital (LinkedIn)
Dr. Sankey is a Tech/IP entrepreneur, investor, advisor, IP licensing executive, and global speaker. He is General Partner and Managing Director at Innovation Acceleration Capital, a Technology Investment Firm that provides strategic advice and management support to corporations that are facing the need to develop Outsourced R&D Strategies. 

He is the former president of Ocean Tomo China Technology.  He served as the Senior Director of Portfolio Management at Intellectual Ventures, overseeing investments and developing licensing programs for the $5B Invention Investment Funds 1 and 2.  Dr. Sankey was a General Partner at Zone Ventures with Tim Draper, and he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, Inc.  He has also held strategic planning, consulting, and R&D positions at RAND and AT&T Bell Laboratories.  

Dr. Sankey holds a B.S. in Physics, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Optical Engineering. 

Muriel Médard, Ph.D., Professor of EECS at MIT and Chief Scientist at Steinwurf (LinkedIn)
Muriel Médard is the Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department at MIT, where she leads the Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group in the Research Laboratory for Electronics at MIT. She obtained three Bachelor’s degrees (EECS 1989, Mathematics 1989 and Humanities 1991), as well as her M.S. (1991) and Sc.D (1995), all from MIT. She is a Member of the US National Academy of Engineering (elected 2020), a Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors (elected 2018), and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (elected 2008). Muriel was elected president of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2012 and served on its board of governors for eleven years. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Technical University of Munich (2020).

She was co-winner of the MIT 2004 Harold E. Egerton Faculty Achievement Award and was named a Gilbreth Lecturer by the US National Academy of Engineering in 2007. She received the 2017 IEEE Communications Society Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award and the 2016 IEEE Vehicular Technology James Evans Avant Garde Award. She received the 2019 Best Paper award for IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, the 2018 ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Paper Award, the 2009 IEEE Communication Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award, the 2009 William R. Bennett Prize in the Field of Communications Networking, the 2002 IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Prize Paper Award, as well as eight conference paper awards. Most of her prize papers are co-authored with students from her group.

She has served as technical program committee co-chair of ISIT (twice), CoNext, WiOpt, WCNC and of many workshops. She has chaired the IEEE Medals committee, and served as member and chair of many committees, including as inaugural chair of the Millie Dresselhaus Medal. She was Editor in Chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications and has served as editor or guest editor of many IEEE publications, including the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, the IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology, and the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security. She was a member of the inaugural steering committees for the IEEE Transactions on Network Science and for the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Information Theory.

Muriel received the inaugural 2013 MIT EECS Graduate Student Association Mentor Award, voted by the students. She set up the Women in the Information Theory Society (WithITS) and Information Theory Society Mentoring Program, for which she was recognized with the 2017 Aaron Wyner Distinguished Service Award. She served as undergraduate Faculty in Residence for seven years in two MIT dormitories (2002-2007). She was elected by the faculty and served as member and later chair of the MIT Faculty Committee on Student Life and as inaugural chair of the MIT Faculty Committee on Campus Planning. She was chair of the Institute Committee on Student Life. She was recognized as a Siemens Outstanding Mentor (2004) for her work with High School students. She serves on the Board of Trustees since 2015 of the International School of Boston, for which she is treasurer.

She has over fifty US and international patents awarded, the vast majority of which have been licensed or acquired. For technology transfer, she has co-founded three companies, CodeOn, for which she consults, Chocolate Cloud, on whose board she serves, and Steinwurf, for which she is Chief Scientist.

Muriel has supervised over 40 master students, over 20 doctoral students and over 25 postdoctoral fellows.

Soody Tronson, Founder/CEO at Presque Medical, Founding Managing Counsel at STLG Law Firm, and LES-SVC Board Member and Past-Chair (LinkedIn)
For more than 25 years, Soody has engaged in interdisciplinary innovation, combining her expertise in science, engineering, law, technology, management, and business in start-up and fortune 100 companies.

After holding technical and management positions at Schering Plough and HP; and practicing law at Hewlett-Packard Inc., a successfully acquired medical device startup, and the law firms of HellerEhrman and Townsend and Townsend; she formed the boutique intellectual property law firm, STLGip, where she counsels domestic and international clients in IP and technology transactions in a wide range of technologies. In 2016 she formed, Presque, a company developing smart wearables in the maternal and infant care space.

Soody serves in board, advisory, and leadership capacities with several organizations including STEM to Market, a national accelerator started by the Association for Women in Science (AWIS); California Lawyers Association Executive Committee of the Intellectual Property Section, Licensing Executives Society USA/Canada, the Silicon Valley Chapter, and the Palo Alto Area Bar Association.

Soody is a Commissioner with the city of Menlo Park in California and is a member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG). Soody is an active hands-on volunteer with several civic organizations including Defy Ventures, an entrepreneurship, employment, and character development training program for currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, and youth.

Soody has instructed courses in IP, licensing, and entrepreneurship at the University of California and Stanford University and consults for European universities in the establishment of technology transfer programs. She is a named inventor on numerous patents and patent applications covering polymer chemistry, medical devices, printing mechanisms, fluid delivery systems, bio-sensors, and consumer products.

Soody holds a J.D., M.S. in industrial chemistry, and B.S. in chemistry, and is licensed to practice before the State of California and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She is co-author of “Women Securing the Future with TIPPSS for IoT: Trust, Identity, Privacy, Protection, Safety, Security for the Internet of Things.” Springer. Soody is listed in the IAM Strategy 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists 2019.

To stay energized, she co-founded HighNoteCoffee Co., a third wave coffee roasting company in Silicon Valley.

Victor “Divine” Lombard, Entrepreneur & Founder, Hip-Hop/Rap Recording Artist, Advocate & Activist, Actor, and "Official Rapper” at Andreessen Horowitz (known as "a16z") (LinkedIn)
Divine is a disruptor in every sense of the word with his relentless ambition, determination, grind and hustle. A former substantial drug dealer, and Hip-Hop/Rap recording artist turned "techpreneur", he first appeared on the tech community radar in 2014 when he reached out to famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist and billionaire Ben Horowitz, Co-Founder of top-tier VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), on social media, and the two eventually became friends.

With only an 8th grade formal education, a decade of incarceration, and no tech background, a year later, DIVINE would officially enter tech when he founded his first financial technology startup, BLAK Fintech: Building Leverage Acquiring Knowledge. BLAK existed to build affordable tech-driven personal financial and banking products with a focus on the financially excluded and disadvantaged Unbanked and Underbanked.

DIVINE’s extraordinary story of connecting with and befriending Horowitz and entrepreneurial journey that followed, has been featured via such major media outlets as Forbes, TechCrunch, Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur, Inc., The Karen Hunter Show (on SiriusXM Urban View), Breaking Banks with Brett King, American Banker, and more.

DIVINE has been featured at numerous events focused on diversity and inclusion in tech. He was selected as a keynote speaker by Georgia State University's Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute's Russell Center, for their inaugural Influential Speaker Series, the annual France Fintech: Revolution event held in Paris, as a Columbia University School of Professional Studies (SPS) community partner, addressed the Columbia Sustainable Finance Professionals Network (CSFPN) members as part of their Power Breakfast Series, spoken at HBCUs, and more.

In 2017 he was cast in the Ben Stiller directed and executive produced Showtime miniseries prison escape drama, Escape at Dannemora, based on the real life 2015 prison escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, that was released in 2018.

DIVINE is a Contributor to Black Enterprise (BE), and in 2017 was a featured panelist at BE TechConneXt Summit on the TCX Cares: Turning Lives Around With Tech panel, with leading criminal justice reform advocate and New York Times best-selling author of Writing My Wrongs, Shaka Senghor, and others, that was moderated by Marcus Bullock.

Being a formerly system-impacted individual, DIVINE is now an advocate and activist around mass incarceration, criminal justice reform, and social justice utilizing his platform for change, and as an inspirational and motivational speaker, he now utilizes his life story and entrepreneurial journey of redemption to inspire others worldwide. DIVINE is currently authoring an autobiography and recently had a screenplay completed on his life for a feature film.

Moderator: Michael Pierantozzi, Principal/Founder, Andiamo Associates, LLC and Board Member, LES-SVC (LinkedIn)
Based in Silicon Valley, Michael is a technology and intellectual property (Tech/IP) entrepreneur, strategist and transaction expert. Andiamo Associates is a management consulting firm that specializes in Tech/IP business catalyzing and monetizing matters. Previously, Michael was responsible for strategic business development, including sales, acquisitions, and licensing for the IP Licensing group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Previously, Michael held executive leadership positions at Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) including HPE, Intellectual Ventures (IV), IPotential, and an IP transaction data services startup that he co-founded. Since 2009, Michael has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine in their IAM 300 rankings as one of the “World’s Leading Intellectual Property Strategists”. He is a frequent speaker at Tech/IP industry events in the US, Europe, and Asia, and has delivered IP management seminars at Stanford University.

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